There are major disappointments with the outcomes of Solidarity: corruption, and major pockets of economic backwardness and even poverty. By and large, though, if there were a choice between the life Poles led in the 1970s and 1980s and now, nobody but a lunatic would say they wanted to have back what they had before.
Most Americans are close to total ignorance about the world. They are ignorant. That is an unhealthy condition in a country in which foreign policy has to be endorsed by the people if it is to be pursued. And it makes it much more difficult for any president to pursue an intelligent policy that does justice to the complexity of the world.
[American exceptionalism] is a reaction to the inability of people to understand global complexity or important issues like American energy dependency. Therefore, they search for simplistic sources of comfort and clarity. And the people that they are now selecting to be, so to speak, the spokespersons of their anxieties are, in most cases, stunningly ignorant.